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Elementals were the purest living forms of the four basic elements—air, earth, fire, and water—as well as several other, less common elements. They were intelligent, self-aware entities that were made up of the matter of their home plane. They could be summoned to any plane of existence, except the plane of concordance to their element. For example, summoning a fire elemental to the Elemental Plane of Water took more magical power than mortals could conceivably wield.
Elementals were considered intelligent, yet they saw service typically as bound servants or guardians. For example, Gromph Baenre had a bound fire elemental in his magical study, and he used it as a contingency guardian. This binding grated on the elementals, as they were only summoned for a singular purpose. Once that purpose had been fulfilled, they were free to return to their home plane. In some cases, this bondage could span centuries, if not millennia